You can relive game 5 of the Raptors & # 39; Finals series against the Warriors on Saturday at 8pm. ET on Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE. The full schedule for the re-broadcast of Toronto's historic 2019 playoff run can be found here.
Of all the games played in the 2019 Final between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, Game 5 could be the most memorable for a number of reasons.
Here are some examples.
Sign up for the Raptors newsletter
Get the best of our Raptors coverage and exclusive offers straight to your inbox!
Durant returns and leaves immediately
The greatest story of this entire final was when Kevin Durant would return after an injury.
With a calf injury since Game 5 of the Warriors' second round with the Houston Rockets, the two-time final MVP was like a looming ghost in the championship series, casting a foreshadowing shadow over the Raptors, who were preparing for his later return to almost everyone Game of the final.
However, with the Warriors retiring, Game 5 was the game for Golden State to unleash its less secret weapon on the Raptors, whether or not he had fully recovered from his injury.
When the ball tipped over, it looked like a brilliant move. Durant drilled a top-of-the-key three for his first basket since he returned from an injury as part of an 8-2 sprint from Golden State to open the game
This basket seemed to get Durant on a fast pace, since the superstar would finish the quarter with 11 points in 3v4 shooting, with all of his field goals coming from deep.
Durant looked like he was in the zone, and with his warriors leading at the end of period 34-28, the crowd's nervousness in the Scotiabank Arena was almost palpable.
Then came the second quarter and a catastrophe struck for the warriors and especially for Durant.
At just under 10 minutes of the second half, Durant had the ball on top of the key and wanted to work Serge Ibaka, who had switched to it on the edge. Durant did a crossover dribble, but seemed to be getting rid of the ball from Ibaka, which stole the stone and went the other way for a fast break layup.
On closer inspection, however, Durant became lame and actually broke his right Achilles tendon, which forced him to end the game with the help of teammate Andre Iguodala and staff from the Warriors team.
The entire incident was a mess because the crowd was confused about what was going on. People cheered the Ibaka first, and some even disgustedly cheered Durant's departure from the game.
Raptors players on the pitch helped calm things down by begging the crowd to calm down, but that didn't change the fact that Durant's last picture on a basketball had been people cheering for almost a year he suffered a career-threatening injury.
If there is an odd podcasting pair, this could be the case. Donnovan Bennett and JD Bunkis disagree, but you'll agree that this is the best podcast for Toronto Raptors.
Kawhi's near-championship run
Durant's injury was undoubtedly the greatest story of Game 5, but maybe in the craziness of the rest of the game lost an angry fourth quarter from Kawhi Leonard that Toronto almost won the championship at home.
Leonard was very quiet in the first three frames and only shot 4: 15 for 14 points from the field. It didn't look enough. With the Warriors ahead in the fourth quarter, Leonard had to find his lost shot if the Raptors had a chance.
In the middle of the fourth he did it.
Starting with a put-back layup after an astonishing rebound from a missed Danny Green three-pointer, the lock gates for Leonard & # 39; s shot seemed to open as he then did a personal 10-2 run to place the raptors to play four with about four minutes.
The Scotiabank Arena rocked and the Raptors had all the momentum on their side thanks to Leonard, but then Toronto coach Nick Nurse made his only real gaffe of the whole final and took a time-out pointer after a missed Stephen Curry three.
If the nurse hadn't taken a break there, the Raptors could have reasonably extended the run they were on. Instead, the nurse stopped his team's push to give them a quick breather, a decision that proved fatal.
The game in a GIF
After taking this break, the warriors were able to regain their leadership thanks to three consecutive pointers from Klay Thompson and Curry.
Still, the Raptors had only three, less than a minute, something that would be reduced to one point after Kyle Lowry's two-on-one attempt to drive and drive was 29 seconds before the end got his layup goalkeeper.
The two-on-one attempt was even better than originally intended, as DeMarcus Cousins was asked at the other end for a moving screen that gave the Raptors the chance to close the game by 15.7 seconds win.
Unfortunately for Toronto, what you see above was the end result of this last shot attempt. Golden State wisely doubled Leonard as soon as he started making his move and forced him to distribute it. This led to a fighting situation in which Fred VanVleet actually found an open-looking Lowry in the corner, but it could have been a warrior's defensive bait since Draymond Green was right there to withstand the tough competition and actually develop a block on Lowry's look.
Game over. There will be a game 6.
Game 5 Boxscore (via NBA.com)